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Uilleann, Northumbrian, Smallpipes + For all types of (non GH) Bagpiping discussions.

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Old 04-04-2018, 06:46 AM   #11
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: The Ale is Dear. What drones?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Ufford View Post
I understand and appreciate the comments from those who recommend sticking with the A and E drones. My teacher, who is a GHBer, also doesn't seem to mind the disonances I hear with the B minor tune. For my part, the attraction of the smallpipes is the pleasant harmonies we can achieve, and the B drone sounds so cool. Perhaps with more experience I'll learn to appreciate the disharmonies (tension) as well. Thanks again all.
Would not the dissonance between an "A drone chanter" being played against B drones be worse than a Bminor tune played against A drones?

Tired of hearing An Dro against A drones, I tuned my drones up to B and retuned to the chanter to suit:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnOHwubevYE

An older video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IyYOCGhL_4&t=42s

This chart shows the tuning differences required to tune a chanter to B drones as opposed to A drones:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/oawzo2wwpq...ables.pdf?dl=0
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Old 04-05-2018, 06:25 AM   #12
Michael Ufford
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Default Re: The Ale is Dear. What drones?

Thanks Patrick. Your tunes sound great. I think I am doing what you have done for B minor tunes. Retuned my A tenor to a B. Left the baritone on an E. (I don't play the bass drone yet.) But I didn't have to retune my A chanter. The prominent F and B notes of "The Ale is Dear" harmonize well with the E and B drones. The A notes in the tune provide the tension Nate talks about, but they quickly resolve to the B notes.

Discovered another nice B minor tune in Terry Tully's Book of Irish tunes. A jig, it has the somewhat off-putting name of "Bailey's Nuts."
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Old 04-05-2018, 06:37 AM   #13
Michael Ufford
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Default Re: The Ale is Dear. What drones?

Kevin: I hadn't thought about playing the tune in A. Would be a great solution if as you say I could get a C natural on my chanter.
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Old 04-05-2018, 09:02 AM   #14
wheels2onfire
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Default Re: The Ale is Dear. What drones?

Additional information on drone tunings:

http://pipersgathering.org/apna_old/?p=956
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Old 04-05-2018, 09:12 AM   #15
Kevin
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Default Re: The Ale is Dear. What drones?

Hi Michael,

Your signature says you are waiting on your new smallpipes. If it is not too late, you might consider asking your maker to add a C-nat thumb hole on the back of your A-SSP chanter. They are becoming more common on SSP and open up a lot of additional music possibilities. In the meantime, you could grab a tuner and try taping your C# down to C-natural. It is doable on most chanters but the C-nat will be quiet compared to other notes.

Good luck with it,
Kevin
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Old 04-05-2018, 09:37 AM   #16
Pppiper
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Default Re: The Ale is Dear. What drones?

Good call. This is also most certainly possible after the fact. Take/send the chanter to any competent smallpipe maker, and they can out that hole in for you. I bought my Banton smallpipes second hand when I saw precisely what I was looking for being offered. Unfortunately, the chanters didn't have holes drilled for the minor third (C nat on an A chanter).

Lucky for me, the Banton shop is only a couple of hours away, so I'll be bringing those up to them soon to get those installed.

Cheers,
~Nate
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Old 04-07-2018, 01:01 PM   #17
Tim | Birchen
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Default Re: The Ale is Dear. What drones?

For what it's worth, drones tuned to B and F#[F-sharp] will sound even better than B and E. F# is the fifth [dominant] note in a B-minor scale, and will provide a classic and powerful 'open-fifth' drone underneath, like A and E for tunes in A. I'd also suggest making the B the lowest sounding note of the two (ideally your bass).

You may have to 'genetically modify' your instrument to get the F#, perhaps putting the baritone top onto the tenor bottom. The result, once in tune, is very much worth the effort.

Re: the C-natural, I also had the thumbholes drilled into all of my Banton smallpipe chanters (some after-the-fact), and haven't looked back. If you choose instead to go with the tape option, as I have many times in the past, you may consider taping the C almost, but not quite, flat enough to be fully natural, and then use forked fingering to further flatten that note in the moment. That way you can help prevent the D from becoming too flat, as it often does when the C is heavily taped.

~ Tim
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Old 04-12-2018, 10:01 AM   #18
Michael Ufford
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Default Re: The Ale is Dear. What drones?

Thanks Tim. I just registered for Gordon Mooney's "Piper's Rendezvous" in Quebec. I look forward to discussing these matters with you in October. Mike.

Last edited by Michael Ufford; 04-12-2018 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 04-12-2018, 02:29 PM   #19
paul_111
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Default Re: The Ale is Dear. What drones?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
Hi Michael,

... you might consider asking your maker to add a C-nat thumb hole on the back of your A-SSP chanter. They are becoming more common on SSP and open up a lot of additional music possibilities. In the meantime, you could grab a tuner and try taping your C# down to C-natural. It is doable on most chanters but the C-nat will be quiet compared to other notes.

Good luck with it,
Kevin


Please forgive the silly question, but the way it is written, it sounds like the thumb hole is unique to an A chanter. Am I correct in assuming it can be added to a chanter of any key?
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Old 04-12-2018, 02:40 PM   #20
Klondike Waldo
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Default Re: The Ale is Dear. What drones?

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Originally Posted by paul_111 View Post
Please forgive the silly question, but the way it is written, it sounds like the thumb hole is unique to an A chanter. Am I correct in assuming it can be added to a chanter of any key?
Yes, providing a minor third in whatever key the chanter is built for:
F natural on a D chanter, D flat of a B flat chanter B flat on a G chanter, E flat on a C chanter, etc. ( Actual pitches, which would al be written as C nat in pipe music).
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